Calls for new funding applicants in order to double that amount by end of 2021
Secures new capital, encourages community-minded organizations to submit a loan inquiry form today
March 2, 2021 (SAN DIEGO) — Marking two major milestones, Mission Driven Finance, an impact-based lender and investment manager founded in San Diego, has announced that as it marks its fifth anniversary this month, it is also celebrating providing $11 million in assets to the small businesses and nonprofits dedicated to social change in the region. And they’re just getting started, having set a goal to double the firm’s investments by the end of the year.
Since 2016, the mission-driven investment firm has filled the gap between philanthropy and traditional investments by providing tailored financial structures to local businesses that other investors and traditional lenders simply cannot offer.
The firm uses flexible capital from impact-driven investors to support small companies and nonprofits with bold visions, innovative enterprises, and programs to benefit San Diego communities and beyond.
“We know there are great companies getting lucrative contracts but need access to working capital to fulfill them,” said Lauren Grattan, chief community officer and co-founder of Mission Driven Finance. “We love being able to support them with inclusive lending processes, like not using personal credit scores and guarantees—which we find unfair and steeped in racist biases. We’re always looking for reasons to say yes to small businesses and nonprofits doing good in the community.”
Over the years, Mission Driven Finance has developed a proven track record of acting on its values, a concept often not associated with the lending industry. The firm is a Certified B Corporation (meeting the highest standards of social impact), and has made a public commitment to do all it can do — internally and externally — to be an anti-racist company, and is actively building more trusting ties with Black communities and communities of color.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Mission Driven Finance has raised new capital from its investors. It encourages eligible businesses and organizations to submit a loan inquiry form on its website, which kickstarts the lending process.
Living Cities, a collaborative of the world’s largest foundations and financial institutions connecting those closing racial income and wealth gaps, recently committed a $2 million capital investment in Mission Driven Finance’s place-based fund Advance through their Blended Catalyst Fund. This investment allows Mission Drive Finance to level the playing field in advancing inclusive economic opportunity in San Diego.
Ben Hecht, CEO of Living Cities, said: “The Blended Catalyst Fund blends grants, philanthropic and commercial debt to fund the acceleration, scaling, and replication of promising practices. We believe that Mission Driven Finance’s approach to lending, in which they engage with communities and use alternative underwriting methods that go beyond assessing credit scores, is on the vanguard of how our systems have to change if we are serious about closing capital and wealth gaps for entrepreneurs of color.”
“Investors have realized the power of investing in community and know that it can be a good investment,” said Mission Driven Finance CEO and co-founder David Lynn. “National and regional investors are excited by what they see happening in San Diego and they’re using finance as a tool for change throughout the county to benefit future generations.”
“Every day, I am grateful to the thoughtful team at Mission Driven Finance that connected our small business with the right kind of funding that enabled us to hire employees and support other working capital needs for two large purchase orders,” said Tri Le, president and co-founder of Microtek, a microelectronic technologies company based in San Diego and a current borrower with Mission Driven Finance. “The application process was seamless and it was clear from the beginning the team had our best interests at heart. Mission Driven Finance has been a true partner in our growth; the two loans we have with them enables Microtek to create better health outcomes, train and employ an inclusive workforce, and bring quality jobs to our region.”
About Mission Driven Finance
Mission Driven Finance is an impact investment firm dedicated to developing a financial system that ensures that good businesses can access affordable capital. Built from the ground up with a single purpose — to make it easy to invest in communities — the firm offers funds and structured products designed to close financial gaps that block opportunity. It works with local and national investors to help them meet certain impact goals, and with communities and small businesses to help them access the capital they need. A Certified B Corporation, the firm was launched in 2016 in San Diego.